(from Toyota Press Release) Lexus
introduced its third new concept design within a year when it unveiled
the LF-C luxury sports coupe concept car at the New York International
Auto Show. The LF series of concept vehicles are designed to define and
launch an entirely new direction in styling for the Lexus brand. The
LF-C provides a hint of the direction Lexus is considering for the next
generation IS sports car.
surprise is provided by stylists from the Calty Design Research Center
in the form of a 4-position retractable hardtop in the LF-C. The unique
hardtop design allows the car to transform itself at the touch of a
button from a coupe to a convertible, to a targa or to a speedster,
depending on the driver's mood. The powered top stows neatly into the
trunk through a surprisingly minimal rear-deck opening.
A large rear wheel drive platform utilizes a high-output, front-mounted
V8 engine with a six-speed sequential automatic transmission as the
basis and motivating force for the LF-C. With an expanded wheelbase of
129.5mm, the LF-C is only slightly longer overall than the current IS.
Significantly, the LF-C sits about 50.8mm lower and is nearly 127mm
wider than the current IS. The broad stance and short overhangs strike
an aggressive pose with ample dimensions to comfortably accommodate four
"We used a combination of convex and concave surfaces to control the
balance of light and shadow on the car which creates this beautiful
contrast of having sharp lines within the sculpted exterior surfaces,"
said Kevin Hunter, vice president of Calty Design Research, Inc. "The
idea was to create a sense of strength and softness at the same time,
adding an air of mystery."
Calty used long, integrated lines to
simplify the overall form of the LF-C. The distinctive roof rail tapers
as it moves forward from the rear, mimicking the sculpted theme of the
main body. The extreme tapering of the main body shape from front to
rear, which is then wrapped and interlocked by the rear fenders, is
designed to show strength and power from every angle.
The interior communicates performance
with drive-by-wire steering and Formula One inspired shifter and
steering wheel with the gauges stacked along the steering column axis,
ascending toward the base of the windshield. The gauges are transparent,
with needles moving from the ring, rather than the center.
A dynamic and flowing center console, in a solid tapered form, runs the
length of the interior. Displays and controls are hidden beneath this
transparent console surface that is multi-layered, which creates a
sophisticated, high-tech look and feel. The console is flanked on each
side by arched, wing-like instrument panels situated low in front of the
driver and passenger to create a feeling of openness.
Four lightweight individual bucket seats use slender shapes inspired by
modern stemware to create a contrast of sport and elegance. The effect
provides roominess along with a snug and secure feeling.